Business Irish

Sunday 22 October 2017

Tenants fears as AIB sells buy-to-let mortgages to Goldman Sachs

Gretchen Friemann

AIB has agreed to sell a €400m portfolio of 1,200 buy-to-let mortgages to Goldman Sachs in the biggest deal of its kind since the financial crisis.

The sale by the state-owned bank will raise concerns among tenants about how the new owners plan to recoup their investment.

AIB yesterday annoucned it is contacting borrowers to inform them of the loan transfer.

The deal, dubbed Project Cypress, comes as the state-backed lender prepares to return to the stock exchange later this year in a near €3bn flotation that will reduce the government’s ownership in AIB by 25pc.

A spokesperson for the bank said the vast majority of the mortgages are in “deep long term arrears”.

AIB declined to confirm the price Goldman Sachs paid.

However it is understood the face value of the loans is close to €400m, which are tied to 1,200 homes.

A number of global private equity firms cast an eye over the Project Cypress portfolio, including Lone Star, Davidson Kempner and Cerberus Capital Management, according to sources.

The bank’s move to jettison toxic residential mortgages comes as all Irish lenders mull how best to ditch legacy loans.

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